Political Science: Researching the Electorate

Article excerpt

RICARDO RAMIREZ

Title: Assistant Professor of Political Science and American Studies, University of Southern California

Education: Ph.D., Political Science, and M.A., Education and Administration and Policy Analysis, Stanford University; B.A., Political Science and Chicano Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Age: 34

As a kid, Dr. Ricardo Ramirez would rise early in the morning during the summers to help toil the land. His parents, who were both farm workers in central California, worked long hours in an effort to provide a better life for their struggling family. In their native Mexico, neither parent made it past the sixth grade, but in America, they knew that the opportunities for obtaining a quality education were readily available to their six children.

"They pushed education on us from the very beginning" Ramirez says.

Since 2003, Ramirez has been a professor and a rising star at the University of Southern California, where he has gained national recognition for his research on the voting and political behavior of individuals across racial and ethnic lines. He has specifically examined the voting patterns of naturalized citizens and has observed that they have a higher propensity to register and vote.

Ramirez has built an impressive portfolio of scholarship that includes numerous journal articles and a published book titled Transforming Politics, Transforming America: The Political and Civic Incorporations of Immigrants in the United States, which he co-edited with scholars Taeku Lee and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan. He is currently examining the effects of mobilization efforts on Latino voters and the role of gender and ethnicity on career paths in state legislatures since 1990. Since 2006, he has also been a National Science Foundation Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Research at UCLA and spent a year as a visiting research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan organization that conducts research on California's economic, social and political issues. …